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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical
For Redford this is a strange film. In many of his earlier incarnations he edges towards realism as a style and genre - by that I am thinking of 'Downhill Racer', 'The Candidate', 'Three Days of the Condor' and, of course, 'All the President's Men'. Then you have this... The wonderful novel has been pulled apart and, oddly enough, put back together again in an incredibly...
Published on 21 Dec 2002

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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pretty awful
I have no idea why this film has such a high rating on Amazon . As I bought the DVD on the strength of these reviews I thought myself duty bound give my own feedback! The film is probably the most clichéd I have ever watched. Every scene, no, every last nuance, represents some god-awful cliché, making the film terribly predictable and, in parts, literally...
Published on 30 Jun 2012 by E O'Mahoney


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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical, 21 Dec 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Natural [DVD] (DVD)
For Redford this is a strange film. In many of his earlier incarnations he edges towards realism as a style and genre - by that I am thinking of 'Downhill Racer', 'The Candidate', 'Three Days of the Condor' and, of course, 'All the President's Men'. Then you have this... The wonderful novel has been pulled apart and, oddly enough, put back together again in an incredibly rich way. The power of pathos in this story is simply overwhelming. Redford floors us with his wistful performance - the ageing baseball star trying to follow his glowing star for one last ride into the record books. You can see the sadness in his eyes - Roy Hobbs a mythical young star who made one damn mistake (and a wholly human one at that) who ended up paying for it. But, the stars line up - and via faith from Glenn Close - he gets his second shot at redemption. Watch out for Robert Duvall and Joe Don Baker - great performances. And the lighting is stunning. The soaring music takes you to another place. And the look on Redford's face when he winces, then nods, as he prepares to hit that final pitch... well... in 100 years they'll still be appreciating that one: Yeah, comebacks are indeed the second wind of the soul. This is not a film about baseball - it's a fable about never, ever, giving up on your dream, nor more importantly, yourself. Because, as that ball unravels in mid-air (watch and you'll understand) you realise sometimes your previously unconquerable dreams can be realised in a heartbeat if only you supply the guts, and the Gods supply the knowing wink. What a lovely, decent, warm and encouraging film. We need more like it Bob.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Long Wait For This Classic Tale On DVD Was Worth It, 14 July 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Natural [DVD] (DVD)
What a joy to see The Natural out on DVD at last. Purists howled at the change from the storyline of the novel. Listen to them not a jot. The Natural is simply a wonderful movie, greatly underrated by the Academy when the Oscars were handed out. Looking back, it is unbelievable that this fine film received not even a single Oscar nomination. Outstanding, beautifully understated performances across the cast create an emotional atmosphere that draws you in each and every time you watch the film. Randy Newman's magnificent soundtrack has the power to move you at all the right moments, and the camera work is beautiful - just watch the backlit, "haloed" Glenn Close stand up during a crucial moment in a game and try not to be impressed. A fundamental knowledge of baseball is helpful but not essential, for the real message is not in the game, but in the lessons in life Robert Redford's character, Roy Hobbes ("The Natural" in the story) learns along the way. This is not just a sports film, it is a love story - and in more ways than one. As Roy reflects upon his life late in the film, he says "Some mistakes I guess you never stop paying for." Well thankfully, the long-standing mistake of not bringing The Natural out on DVD has been rectified at last. Unlike a number of DVDs, it loads quickly into the main menu, bypassing the normal agonising wait past credits, warnings, commericals etc that many DVDs put you through when first loaded. The additional feature of a documentary starring Cal Ripken is a fantastic and touching bonus, but quite why the trailer for "The Way We Were" was considered a good idea for inclusion on a DVD about a baseball player is puzzling. The Natural has always one of my top all-time movies, and on DVD it has come of age. I highly commend it to anyone who loves the thrill of the gladiatorial showdown in sport, anyone who loves a good old-fashioned love story, and anyone who maybe has lost their way in life and needs to believe in something or even themselves again. Finely crafted, deeply moving, classic story telling at its finest. Buy it and be enchanted.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all time favourites...., 13 May 2005
By 
Derrick Johnson (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Natural [DVD] (DVD)
and it works on so many levels.There is the sporting theme(baseball the American game, set in an innocent era,) The potential, and innocence of youth. Dreams that never die, as well as an indicment of the press(build em up to knock them down) but at the end of the day it is an enjoyable film. Would have given it 5, but you could say that the end is corny, but in the same way that you are caught up in the emotion, of say a Rocky film, this film leaves you with a warm feeling inside. Try it and see.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Art of Feel Good, 2 April 2008
This review is from: The Natural [DVD] (DVD)
A true masterpiece of simplicity. Like the paper-clip, a Jackson Pollock or the unfortunate 9/11 attacks. Their ridiculous simplicity is what elates and devastates with such extra vigour. The more base the premise, the harder the impact. Any complexity would be to confuse what is essentially happening here, the unearthing of an oft hidden raw human emotion. An emotion far to complex to convey in words but as rewarding as watching this great cast act out this simple story.
If you ever forget what it is in life that you're after or how to go about it, whether it is love, success, or just basic happiness, this film reminds and installs in us how to maybe, just maybe go about it. A very rare feat for a story based around what for me, and for most internationally I'm sure, is a completely banal and redundant subject matter - Baseball. I have zero interest in the game and this has not changed from my, upwards of 30 now, times watching `The Natural' since its 1984 release. The truth is there is absolutely no need to have any interest in Baseball, or even sport for that matter here.
Roy Hobbs teaches us (through the words of his dead father) that raw ability alone will not suffice, and that even apparent divine natural talent will insist on a hard-working, long journey to offer positive outcome. We watch him abuse this notion, and then ultimately master it with breathless abandon, all for our pleasure. The film itself is actually quite art-house in its lack of dialogue, using actions and the masterly acting skills of the lead characters to answer our questions, and if that fails, a home run underpinned by this evocative, hugely underrated big-hook theme will do the trick. Here watch Robert Redford effortlessly portray himself with the perfect unassuming cool that generations still chase, and see Kim Basinger in her full, stunning prime, more sexually hypnotic fully clothed throughout than any naked scene would do justice.
If you can stand its sometimes obvious equation to something biblical, and almost laugh-out-loud sporting feats (Roy Hobbs is apparently so blessed that in several separate hits with his bat during games he turns a baseball to shreds, `fixes' the stadium clock, `warns' the glass panel hidden bad guys with a `remember who makes this club' smash, and, believe it or not, leaves the stadium in darkness with his final moment...you'll have to see how) you will leave feeling enlightened and ultimately a lot better for having seen it. Boasting the original ending idea pre-dating Gladiator by some 20 years, it'll leave you in floods of emotion. My favourite film of all time. Aged 28.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing and Magical Robert Redford Film, 15 Jun 2004
By 
A fan of this film (peterborough, cambs United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Natural [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This film is in my humble opinion is the best film ever made. Robert Redford's portrayal of the character Roy Hobbs (created by Bernard Malamud) is impeccable. I am amazed this film didnt win any oscars. The character of Roy Hobbs is inspirational in respect of his ambition and eagerness to achieve his dream to become "the best there ever was" despite the corrupt enviroment he finds himself in. There are unexpected twists to the film which keep you on your edge even when you have already seen the film. It would suit all viewers young, old and families alike. This film is a true credit to the game of Baseball and the directors of the film and of cause the author also. For those who enjoy reading the novel is worth a read. This film is also highly enjoyable to non sport emthusiast like myself. This was the first film I saw Robert Redford in and he captivated my imagination with his and his co-stars portrail of this great novel.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Circular cricket..., 19 Dec 2005
By 
Kurt Messick "FrKurt Messick" (London, SW1) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Natural [DVD] (DVD)
I approach reviewing the movie 'The Natural' with some fear and trembling -- not being someone raised on American sports, baseball has often held the image in my mind as being a sort of circular cricket game. However, beyond the basic mechanics of the game is the psychology, and, by and large, there is a very different mindset to athletics in America than there is outside of America (though this is changing over time); certainly as I was growing up, I had no sports-figure heroes, nor did I ever consider professional sports as a potential career even in a fantasy.
Beyond the general psychology of sports in America, baseball has a ranking with pride of place, being a national pasttime. To this end, to further my research for this review, I treated myself to that most American of activities, a baseball game, on that most American of holidays, the fourth of July. Being nearest to Indianapolis, there are no major leagues in town, so I went to the minor league game (Indianapolis Indians against the Louisville Riverbats -- the Indians won handily 7-2). I finally began to have some insights into what could be interesting and exciting and fun about baseball. I am certain that my reflections on 'The Natural' would be very different without that experience.
Perhaps it is a fantasy of many Americans to be a natural at sports in general, and some sport in particular. Baseball, having been woven into the history of the country, gives a particular insight into what can be best and worst in life through the game -- honour, glory, happiness; greed, betrayal, vice.
Barry Levinson's 1984 film, 'The Natural', shows the love of the game in full force. Robert Redford plays Roy Hobbs, an almost mythically inspired character, complete with mythic instruments (a bat that is made from a lightning charged tree, perhaps a bat 'anointed by the gods', as it were). Having been a natural from childhood days, he suffers an injury by a mysterious woman in his young manhood that (so far as we know in the film) cuts short a promising career. Is she the Delilah that cuts down a Sampson? If so, why (other than to set up the rest of the film).
Many years later, a much more mature Hobbs returns from out of nowhere to lead a desperate team to victory, overcoming the greed and corruption that big-time money injects into the game for a riveting, round-the-bases having hit out the lights home run that brings the fans to their feet and the puts the bad guys to shame.
What could be more natural than that?
While this is a good story and ends with a happy, yet somewhat incomplete scene of Hobbs playing ball with with a boy (will he be a natural, too?) while a rescued woman (oh yes, did I forget the love story? -- my mistake -- Glenn Close turns in a reasonable but far from her best performance as the love interest on the sidelines while Kim Basinger plays the sultry temptress intertwined in the murky dealing with the power brokers) watches, there are too many unexplained events and tenuous connexions for me to think of this as a great film. Unanswered questions abound.
However, the movie is good entertainment, even for someone who hasn't been to a baseball game. The pace is leisurely (like a baseball game), and the action goes from slow to riveting to gentle to exciting and back again. The dialogue is not inspired, but adequate for the plot. Some judicious editing might have made the movie hold together a bit better.
I can see the love of the game over all other considerations, and I can sense that in Hobbs character. And I can see the reality in many of the other characters. However, this is not executed well enough in philosophic terms to be a morality tale, and underdeveloped in human terms.
In the end, like the baseball game I attended on the fourth of July, I'm glad I saw it, but alas, I didn't fall in love with it. Perhaps I'm just a cricket man at heart.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Circular cricket..., 14 Mar 2006
By 
Kurt Messick "FrKurt Messick" (London, SW1) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
I approach reviewing the movie 'The Natural' with some fear and trembling -- not being someone raised on American sports, baseball has often held the image in my mind as being a sort of circular cricket game. However, beyond the basic mechanics of the game is the psychology, and, by and large, there is a very different mindset to athletics in America than there is outside of America (though this is changing over time); certainly as I was growing up, I had no sports-figure heroes, nor did I ever consider professional sports as a potential career even in a fantasy.
Beyond the general psychology of sports in America, baseball has a ranking with pride of place, being a national pasttime. To this end, to further my research for this review, I treated myself to that most American of activities, a baseball game, on that most American of holidays, the fourth of July. Being nearest to Indianapolis, there are no major leagues in town, so I went to the minor league game (Indianapolis Indians against the Louisville Riverbats -- the Indians won handily 7-2). I finally began to have some insights into what could be interesting and exciting and fun about baseball. I am certain that my reflections on 'The Natural' would be very different without that experience.
Perhaps it is a fantasy of many Americans to be a natural at sports in general, and some sport in particular. Baseball, having been woven into the history of the country, gives a particular insight into what can be best and worst in life through the game -- honour, glory, happiness; greed, betrayal, vice.
Barry Levinson's 1984 film, 'The Natural', shows the love of the game in full force. Robert Redford plays Roy Hobbs, an almost mythically inspired character, complete with mythic instruments (a bat that is made from a lightning charged tree, perhaps a bat 'anointed by the gods', as it were). Having been a natural from childhood days, he suffers an injury by a mysterious woman in his young manhood that (so far as we know in the film) cuts short a promising career. Is she the Delilah that cuts down a Sampson? If so, why (other than to set up the rest of the film).
Many years later, a much more mature Hobbs returns from out of nowhere to lead a desperate team to victory, overcoming the greed and corruption that big-time money injects into the game for a riveting, round-the-bases having hit out the lights home run that brings the fans to their feet and the puts the bad guys to shame.
What could be more natural than that?
While this is a good story and ends with a happy, yet somewhat incomplete scene of Hobbs playing ball with with a boy (will he be a natural, too?) while a rescued woman (oh yes, did I forget the love story? -- my mistake -- Glenn Close turns in a reasonable but far from her best performance as the love interest on the sidelines while Kim Basinger plays the sultry temptress intertwined in the murky dealing with the power brokers) watches, there are too many unexplained events and tenuous connexions for me to think of this as a great film. Unanswered questions abound.
However, the movie is good entertainment, even for someone who hasn't been to a baseball game. The pace is leisurely (like a baseball game), and the action goes from slow to riveting to gentle to exciting and back again. The dialogue is not inspired, but adequate for the plot. Some judicious editing might have made the movie hold together a bit better.
I can see the love of the game over all other considerations, and I can sense that in Hobbs character. And I can see the reality in many of the other characters. However, this is not executed well enough in philosophic terms to be a morality tale, and underdeveloped in human terms.
In the end, like the baseball game I attended on the fourth of July, I'm glad I saw it, but alas, I didn't fall in love with it. Perhaps I'm just a cricket man at heart.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant film, stands the test of time, 23 Mar 2014
By 
La Kennedy "Lorreine" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Natural [DVD] (DVD)
We regularly put this on (every year) and still love it. Well acted, great story, has romance, humour and fabulously filmed. The night of the storm and the spotlights still brings us out in goosebumps.

A joy to watch
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite movie, 20 Mar 2014
By 
bud4911 "budsy" (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Natural [DVD] (DVD)
Loved this film when it was released, great to own it on DVD. Even though it was second hand it was in mint condition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic film worth watching time and time again, 6 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Natural [DVD] (DVD)
The natural a great film to sit back and enjoy times many great storyline great Redford Classic high quality film
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The Natural [DVD]
The Natural [DVD] by Barry Levinson (DVD - 2008)
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